The other day, I invited my yoga class to move to the wall so that we could work on some inversions. I explained what we were going to do and looked up to see a new member sitting on her mat near me looking just a little dazed. I asked her what was wrong. "I am feeling pretty inadequate" she said. It was her first class and she was trying to do every pose and was struggling with some but I thought she was doing great. We had a talk right there after I got the class started climbing the walls. I reminded her this was a benchmark class for her, that there were people at all levels in the class and she shouldn't compare herself to the gymnasts and the people that had been coming for years. She should relax and just do the best she could with every pose, rest when she got tired and watch when she wanted to. I told her that some things would come easy and some things would take a long time, but it was a practice, not a performance, and to stop putting pressure on herself. She relaxed, stayed for the rest of class and we ended up talking about yoga parties and how her wine business might merge with that idea very nicely. She was excited and looked forward to coming back.
I have reached the place with horse back riding lessons where my instructor is letting me take the horse out on my own. The other day was my second time doing this and I decided to work with the horse up and down the road instead of in the arena. I tried to just relax and enjoy the ride and be proud of myself for just being able to go out on my own. But, I have been trained to do so many things and have been able to get the horse to trot and canter and I wanted to be able to do that during that ride. It wasn't working out so well. I finally thought of the young woman in my yoga class that I had encouraged to just relax, do the best she could, and just enjoy being there practicing yoga with us. I knew I needed to listen to my own advice. I started to relax. I let go of trying to get the horse to move faster, slowed down my breath, let my hips move with her every step and paid attention to the beautiful horses grazing in the pastures around us. I finally relaxed and enjoyed the ride!